When Enzo and Siam Beltran were born, doctors told their parents they might not crawl or walk until age 2.
But their mother, Glenda Beltran, had other expectations for her identical twin sons.
“We’ll see about that,” she remembers saying at the time.
A few months away from their third birthdays, Enzo and Siam love to run around with their dad, Omar, wrestling and pretending to be Tarzan or Spiderman.
They love to play ball and are big fans of playing with bubbles. They have started going through screenings for preschool.
Their parents have always had the same expectations for their two boys that they had with their older daughters, and that’s pushed them to be where they are today, said Jackalyn Jones, a developmental specialist with the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
“Mom has not made their diagnoses or delays any kind of excuse, which has been so beneficial for these boys,” she said.
When Glenda was 24- weeks pregnant with Enzo and Siam, doctors began expressing concern that her pregnancy was high risk.
Both boys had Down Syndrome, Omar and Glenda were told. There were concerns Glenda’s amniotic fluid levels were too low with one baby and two high for the other. They were also suspected to have clubbed feet and were at high risk for being born too early.
But as long as she heard two heartbeats from her babies, Glenda felt a sense of peace. She said she put her trust in God and believed that her faith would carry them through.
The boys were born by c-section shortly after her 37th week of pregnancy. Both had typical feet.
Enzo had an intestinal surgery and was in the hospital for three months. Siam went home after a month and a half.
Once they were settled at home, Glenda followed the doctor’s advice and reached out to the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities to start Early Intervention services.
Early intervention (also known as EI) is a statewide program for infants and toddlers — birth to age 3 — with developmental delays, disabilities or medical conditions likely to result in delays. Anyone can make a referral to the program, which is offered to families at no cost.
Since the Beltrans reached out during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackalyn spend the first few months working with them via Zoom. But she was amazing by how much progress the boys were making and how many things Glenda and Omar were working on with them at home.
One of the most impressive things about the Beltran twins is how skilled they are at using multiple forms of communication, Jackalyn said.
Glenda and Omar have family in Mexico and El Salvador, so there was no question that their boys would be raised in a bilingual household.
Some doctors warned that the twins wouldn’t be able to speak or understand more than one language, but not only do they use and comprehend both English and Spanish but they also use sign language to express themselves.
Right now, Jackalyn is working with the family on feeding and helping Enzo and Siam smell, touch and eventually try new foods.
She’s confident that the boys will thrive in preschool.
Glenda said she appreciates Jackalyn as another team member who wants her sons to succeed. It’s been nice to have reassurance that she and Omar are doing the right things to help them.
Her ultimate goal is for her sons to be as strong and independent as possible, so they can navigate all life’s challenges.
“I can prepare them, but I can’t prepare the world for them,” she said. “I’m going to do whatever is in my hands to help them.”
For more information about Early Intervention in Licking County, go to https://lcountydd.org/birth-to-3/. To make an EI referral, please call 1-800-755-4769. You can also make a secure online referral at http://bit.ly/ReferToHMG.